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I’m Not Unemployable, I Just Have Asperger’s

SPEAKING UP SERIES

In this series I share honestly about something that’s affected me or I want to speak up about. A lot of us fear being punished if we speak up and it’s time for this to change and to regain our voices.

This post may challenge you. If that’s not your bag for today, why not sign up for the Self Care For Your Biz Finances Retreat instead?

 

I’m Not Unemployable, I Just Have Asperger’s

 

Hello,

I wanted to share this with you.

It’s not about money or tax returns.

It’s about Aspergers isn’t a disability – until you discover employers don’t want to hire you.

It’s not that I’m unemployable, I just have Asperger’s Syndrome.

 

 

Imagine You Have Aspergers

 

To give you an idea of what it’s like, imagine you’re on holiday and you don’t speak the language.

You need to communicate with people. You have a phrasebook but there isn’t much in it and people look at you funny when you use it. Sometimes you get what you need, most times you don’t.

You start to feel like you want to go home, you start to avoid going out, you keep on trying even though nothing works very well.

You know there is nothing wrong with you – you speak English fluently. Only no-one here speaks English and it’s difficult to learn their language as a lot of what is communicated isn’t said.

The people on your holiday expect you to know and understand their language – and of course, you don’t.

 

You Don’t Speak The Language – Except You Do

 

Most people have been abroad and had the experience of what it feels like to not know the language and how difficult that makes every day life. And of course there is nothing wrong with you and we don’t call it a disability.

But that’s what it’s like when you have Aspergers and you try to live your life in the ‘every day world’.

The obvious to us isn’t seen by everyone else and we don’t know and haven’t been taught or picked up the normal ‘stuff’ of every day life.

And even when we learn this stuff, it makes no sense – like why do I need to say ‘I’m fine thanks’ when I’m clearly not fine!

There are so many aspects of employment (banter, office politics, social expectations) which are unbearable or unable to understand when you have Aspergers.

I’m not saying it’s nice for everyone else, but you can do it, you can jump through the hoops.

We can’t. More than that, we don’t know there are hoops to jump through, although we sense there is a something and that we are wrong.

 

You Apply For Jobs

 

On paper you have it all going for you for the employment world, it’s a great economy, you apply for jobs…. and yet, few interviews and even fewer ‘yes please, we’d like to hire you’. Like none. At all.

You’re from a generation that doesn’t know Aspergers or Autism exists, or at least if you do, it’s those children locked up in institutions who smear poo on the walls.

But there is something ‘not right’.

It’s not that it’s wrong, but there is A Thing that isn’t right, that you don’t understand, a missing piece that is so subtle you couldn’t even put it consciously into words.

Except somehow it’s not missing.

Then one day that piece clicks into place. You have Aspergers.

That’s why it is simultaneously wrong and yet not wrong. Because I am fine, I have nothing wrong, but the effect in society is to be wrong.

That’s the thing.

 

Jobs Don’t Work

 

You blame yourself that you don’t get invited for job interviews (despite looking great on paper), and don’t get offered the jobs you interview for. Somehow there are a lot of near misses.

You think it’s you. It must me. Can’t everyone get a job if they really want one?

(Only if you fit into society)

It’s my fault. I am to blame. I am to blame that the only job I can get is a low paid job and now, not even those.

I did the many applications, the apply for anything and everything, I did the apply for benefits and just escaped before it went completely apeshit. Because how can you explain why you’re not hired by an employer? Of course it’s your fault.

 

There Are A Lot Of Us Who Fell Through The Cracks

 

I used to believe it was me.

Now I know it isn’t.

That I did try. And it didn’t work. Fitting in is part of a job application process that isn’t talked about. But fitting in is essential if you’re to be offered a job. Even for low paid work, then even that stops being an option.

And it’s not just me.

There are a lot of women with online based businesses like me who have Aspergers.

 

Thousands of Women

 

Thousands of women.

They may or may not have shared their Aspergers in public. You may or may not know they have Aspergers, it’s not a sticker on our foreheads.

Aspergers is a different way of processing the information we receive from the world. It’s not ‘a challenge’ (thank you BBC Breakfast). It’s only a disability if it impacts ability to earn money. The internet being the joyeous thing it is, practically everyone can find friends.

In this world of online business, Aspergers is NOT a disability, other than the trauma we carry in our bodies from our experiences.

Women with Aspergers have small businesses. Women with Aspergers have 8 figure turnover businesses.

And many of us have shared with each other in private our shared struggle we’ve in not being able to get a job. Employment. Any job. Even making coffee or beds.

It was one of those conversations that enabled me to get the courage to share this in public. (Where actual people can see).

<socialwelcome> Waves to actual people. Hello, how are you? I’m great, thanks </socialwelcome>

 

I’m Not Unemployable – Neither Are You

 

We’re not unemployable – but we don’t fit into the standard world of employment.

Like the people who created the internet, the world wide web, the computer, probably most of the social media networks.

 

Aspergers isn’t a disability.

It’s a different way of being and thinking.

 

That’s all.

Only society creates a disability out of it and that disability is severe – the ability to earn money from a job.

Even though we’re well suited to having our own business, it can take time – years – before financial sustainability kicks in, and what does everyone advise until then?

Keep your day job. It’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.

 

 

We Just Have Different Ways Of Working –

That Average Doesn’t Have

 

We have a lot to offer: skills and abilities that the general population doesn’t have. A lot of us blend right in (apart from the job thing) and you’d never know.

I’m sure there are going to be people reading this who think it’s all in my head (hi there) and anyone can get a job if they really want one (you be in my shoes and then say that). I’m not talking to you.

I’m talking to those who need to hear what I have to say so they can put down the burden of guilt for themselves.

I haven’t been able to do it myself yet.

Release the guilt. Release the ‘it’s my fault’.

Even writing this I can feel the emotions: ‘I haven’t put any stats in’, ‘People are going to say I didn’t try hard enough’, ‘Why am I worrying about those people when it’s woman like me I am writing to and aren’t I meant to be speaking up anyway?’

Underneath it all is the feeling that it is all my fault. Tap tap tap tap. (If you don’t know what tapping is, it’s frickin awesome. Google Brad Yates or Gail O’Keeffe).

Like one of my heros Lucy Pearce, speaking up is doing it despite the fear (her life changer book Burning Woman has enabled the courage for thousands of women to speak up).

So here we are.

I’m getting there and this post is my contribution to add to those who have gone before me.

And if you have space in your business or organisation for this speaking up Aspergers gal – or want a quote for your media or press piece – I’d love to talk to you. My contact page is up there.

 

 

Do You Have Aspergers And Unemployable?

 

Commit to sharing with one person your experience and share with me if you would like to.

If you feel called to step up and work with me, find out more.

I’m on Instagram and Facebook, or you can contact me or leave a comment.

Always with you,

Rosie x

SPEAKING UP SERIES

In this series I share honestly about something that’s affected me or I want to speak up about. A lot of us fear being punished if we speak up and it’s time for this to change and to regain our voices.

What do YOU want me to speak up about?

 

Support: Google ‘autism employment’. Other women who’ve gone public about Aspergers are Holly Worton, Leonie Dawson and Penelope Trunk. You can also work with me.

And while Chris Packham is a man, his autobiography and upcoming BBC2 programme is more female energy than male energy. I related to his experience a lot.

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